13 August 2010 4:06 PM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

The Secret In Their Eyes (18)

(Juan José Campanella, 2009, Argentina/Spain) Ricardo Darín, Soledad Villamil, Pablo Rago. 129 mins.

Having elbowed aside the favourite (Michael Haneke's The White Ribbon) and the stalking horse (Jacques Audiard's A Prophet) to win last year's Oscar for Best Foreign Film, Campanella's relatively unlauded entry has a lot to live up to. But thankfully it delivers, being a handsome, smart, adult mystery, in which a retired legal counsellor (Darín) delves into the past to deal with an unresolved murder case. The surprise is not so much that it won the Oscar but how much it resembles the classy, sexually charged Hollywood thrillers of the 70s and 80s, from Klute to Sea Of Love. Maybe if Tom Cruise made films like this instead of the gormless Knight And Day he might reconnect with his grown-up fanbase. But then, the studios are too busy kowtowing to the »

- Damon Wise

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